In the past couple of weeks, winding down from the first Fashion & Tech Week in Paris, and after meeting with the organizers from the other Fashion & Tech Startup Weekends and the other parties planning Fashion & Tech events around the world, we've all learned that there is a huge amount of clarification needed in order to get the bottom of what we're trying to achieve through this discussion.
Sometimes it is necessary to put ideas down on paper in order to better communicate the idea to observers and to participants. It allows participants to contribute towards a common, organized goal. And it allows observers to absorb the information in an organized, logical way.
It's a way to structure and filter the final product through a more tangible medium. Some of my favorite pieces of art history are the manifestos created by groups like Dada and the futurist movements. Using rhetoric, however abstract, to clarify the visual that might otherwise be inaccessible.
When talking about Fashion Technology, the concept is just as abstract as Dadaism was and still is today. There are no rules, except for those that we restrict ourselves to. And so part of the goal of this mission statement is to create a space for conversation in which we approach the topics from new angles that will lead us to new solutions.
What is fashion technology?
The mergence of Fashion and Technology is the space where fashion and technology mutually enable each other to begin to think differently about the possibilities in their field. In product design, user experience, and business model.
Fashion Technology is anything from smart textiles and wearables to e-commerce and marketing strategy. Any tool that fashion industry uses – enabled by technology – to improve their product or practices. And any approach a technology company takes valuing aesthetics along with function to create marketable products and processes.
The first thing to recognize is that we are all experimenting in this space. Nothing is proven, it is all open to analysis and objectivity. We are all guessing. Nothing is concrete. And so the conversation will be fluid and constantly evolving. Fashion & Tech week is meant as a platform to document that evolution, make case studies of the experiments, celebrate the leaps forward and create a space within which we promote constant adaptation and iteration.
What are the objectives of Fashion & Tech Week?
To create a dialogue between the technology community and the Fashion community.
To communicate the common ground between the two, and the mutually beneficial nature of collaborations. To promote cross disciplinary product and business development.
To create a framework for the segments of the Fashion & Tech mergence such that the categories can become real focus groups and be properly delved into. Each niche of the Fashion & Tech scene deserves its own conversation in order for specific questions and responses to be arrived at. If the subjects and the speakers are too broad, the questions and responses remain vague and theoretical rather than concrete and actionable.
To establish a distinction between theoretical conversations and practical conversations. Let the audience decide if they are interested in attending a conceptual discussion or listen to testimonial from lived experience. Be transparent with the speakers about this distinction and the expectations of each talk.
To address all audiences, from students and novices to experts and executives, from small businesses and startups to national and international corporations.
To include a global representation of innovators, business leaders and thought leaders, entrepreneurs, developers and designers.
To instill technological curiosity in the fashion community and creative aspiration in the tech community. And to built a community of professionals who speak both languages to bridge the divide.
To embrace uncertainty as freedom to experiment.
To develop a value system through dialogue with thought leaders, corporate priorities and a guideline for best practices.
To become a bi-annual event in Paris and New York, and eventually other cities, that establishes a checkpoint for the progress across all fields of fashion tech.
What will be the structure?
Over the course of one week, events throughout the day will be hosted and organized by independent parties and scheduled by the Fashion & Tech Week coordinator. Partners will be identified after considering an array of topics, and assigning those topics to individuals or organizations specializing in those topics. Potential partners may also send proposals for an event they wish to organize within the schedule of Fashion & Tech Week.
The events will be communicated by existing and future media partners, both local and international, and through all organizing partners' communication channels.
Fashion & Tech week will be a key moment on the calendar for businesses and individuals looking to move their companies and projects into the future. It will be a place for encounters, experimentation, workshops and round tables. It will be a place to discover and present new products, and find new marketplaces and unexpected audiences. It will be a place for commerce, relationship building, and for creative and intellectual enrichment.
The subjects we will cover:
Sustainability / recycle / rent / reuse
Wearables / embedded / integrated / product / sport / health / accessory /
Textiles / synthetic / natural fibers / process / distribution / quality control
Business model / strategy
Omnichannel / beacon / in store
Marketing / blogging / social media
People connectedness / humanness
Any suggestions? Leave your comments below.